Otago Daily Times
Clashes after Haitian govt removes judges
PORTAUPRINCE: Haitian police yesterday clashed with rockhurling protesters in the capital PortauPrince amid demonstrations against President Jovenel Moise after his government retired three Supreme Court judges earmarked as his potential replacements.
Police fired teargas and shot in the air in an attempt to disperse pockets of protesters, who pelted the security officials with rocks, a Reuters witness said.
In latest political tumult in the volatile island nation, the opposition is demanding Moise leave power immediately, accusing him of acting like an authoritarian leader and violating the constitution.
Tensions intensified at the weekend after Moise alleged there was an attempt to overthrow his government. Authorities on Monday arrested 23 people, including a Supreme Court judge and a senior police official.
On Tuesday, the government issued an executive decree retiring the arrested judge and two other Supreme Court justices.
All three had been approached by the opposition as possible interim leaders to replace Moise and head a transitional government.
The opposition says Moise should have stepped down on February 7, when they say his fiveyear term in office expired, following disputed 2015 elections.
Moise rejects that, citing a term that began in February 2017 after he won fresh elections in 2016. He has pledged to step down in February next year.
Two journalists received minor injuries yesterday when police dropped a tear gas canister into a pickup truck, labelled as media, which was transporting journalists, according to reporters and television footage.
Police could not immediately be reached for comment. — Reuters